This was my first visit to the ancient Dunblane Cathedral. As with many religious establishments around and over 1000 years, there are parts which go back to the original construction, including the bell tower which was built as a freestanding structure in the 1100s. However the first religious community was founded by St Blane in the 7th century.
The basis of the current building was founded by Bishop Clement in the 13th century. Papal approval to build the cathedral was granted in 1237. However after the Reformation of 1560 the building fell into dis-repair. In the Victoria era, the restoration was undertaken by Robert Anderson, which secured the building at it currently exists.
Bishop Clement incorporated the 12th century tower into his building. His successor, Bishop Chisholm, increased the height between 1487 and 1526. The differing dressed stone shows this extension to this day.
Most of the Nave as it is seen today dates from the Anderson restoration as the Reformation destroyed many of the chapels, and the stonework would have been plastered and brightly coloured.
The screen into the Chancel dates from the 1880s. Part of the original screen still exists and is on display in the Dunblane museum. Behind the communion table is the east window, however this had been designed for the south side. As plans for the construction of the building changed, it was determined that the windows in the south side needed to be larger and the panes were installed in the east end.
To get a elevated view of the nave looking east, it is possible to climd the spiral stairs to the walkway in front of the west window.
One of the newest items in the cathedral is the organ. The present organ in Dunblane Cathedral was built by Flentrop of Zaandam in the Netherlands in 1990. Unlike many organs it does not have any pistons to allow the organist to select groups of stops of the change the mood/volume/tone of the music en mass. The organist (or their page turner) have to select their stops individually.
Since 1888, the building has been looked after by the state, and is in the care of Historic Scotland. It is well worth a visit, being a short walk from Dunblane railway station which is well served from the Central belt of Scotland.